Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 30, 1976 · Page 114
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May 30, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 114

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, May 30, 1976
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Page 114
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Secretary of State Kissinger and ex-California Gov. Ronald Reagan with their supportive wives in California. Both wom- en are attractive, we//-educated, well-bred and complement their husbands. Nancy Kissinger is 41, Nancy Reagan is 53. PALM SPRINGS, CAL . G iven the proper set of circumstances, basically time and format, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger does not "exclude the possibility" of debating Ronald Reagan on. foreign affairs. Reagan, former Governor of California, has made Henry Kissinger the leading issue in his race for the Republican Presidential nomination. And because of that the Secretary of State has taken umbrage. He is therefore willing to debate Reagan, he told PARADE in a recent poolside conversation here, "providing I have the time and some reasonable ground rules can be set out" What the Secretary of State envisions is a question-and-answer format, similar to "Meet the Press" or other TV programs in which three or four knowledgeable journalists ask questions of the two guests. WhatKissinger wants to avoid is a "stand-up debate" in which he and Reagan simply make speeches and refutations. The secretary expects that any con's frontation between him and Reagan o- would merit national coverage by the TV networks. He realizes, of course, 5 that Reagan is the most professional and £ experienced political performer on TV today. Reagan understands the medium by Lloyd Shearer perfectly. Does he understand foreign . policy as well? Reagan has argued that Kissinger has cozied up to the Soviets, that Kissinger is reconciled to accepting the Soviet Union as the world's No. 1 superpower witH the U.S. playing No. 2.- He has. accused HelmutSpnnenfeldt,Kissinger's expert on East-West affairs, of playing into Soviet hands by espousing a doctrine which in effect betrays the Eastern satellite nations. Reagan has said flatly that he would not retain Kissinger in his Cabinet. And he has, in his campaign speeches, charged the Ford Administration with opening a credibility gap by riot telling the American peopje of the Ford-Kissinger intention to negotiate "the giveaway of the [Panama] Canal." Reagan's TV speech On March 31 this year, in a nationwide TV address, Reagan declared: 'The Canal Zone is not a colonial possession. It is not a long-term lease. It is . sovereign U.S. territory every bit the same as Alaska and all the states that were carved from the Louisiana Purchase. We should end those negotiations and tell the general [Torrijos]: 'We bought it, we paid for it, we built it, and we intend to keep it'" It has long been known that James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense, has been advising Reagan on U.S.-Soviet defense postures, providing Reagan with accurate information and analysis. . Who has been advising Reagan on the Panama Canal'and Panamanian history is another matter. Supposedly Reagan's adviser is Phillip Harman, 55, a California businessman self-described as an "anti-Communist fanatic" who claims he is the "grandson-in-law of the founder of the Republic of Panama." , . 1 Harman is associated with Arnulfo Arias, 74, .who was' overthrown three times as President of Panama and would like a fourth incumbency. Kissinger does not particularly mind Reagan's calling for his removal as much as he minds Reagan's conversion of the very-"delicate Panama negotiations" into a political football. "If Reagan keeps inciting hawkish audiences with his demagoguery," Kissinger asserts, "he is not being particularly helpful to this country. We have a touchy situation in Panama, and no one should be trigger-happy unless, he relishes a military involvement or a guerrilla war. One should be sure of his facts before he uses the Panama Canal for political campaign rhetoric." Ronald Reagan is not a scholarly man, but he is surely a fair and honorable one. And he must certainly know that the U.S. relationship with Panama is one of the shabbiest, most shameful, unfair episodes in our history. .When he declaims, "We should tell Panama's tinhorn dictator just what he can do with his demands for sovereignty over the canal. We bought it, we paid for it, and they can't have it," he is plainly inviting war; he is stimulating the antagonism of all Latin America; he is advocating the continuity'of flagrant, unfairness, or he is acting irresponsibly with jingoism designed to advance his political objectives. ' ' Offer to French The truth is that-, in 1902 the U.S. began to negotiate for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, then owned by Colombia. President Teddy Roosevelt offered the French Panama Canal Co. 540 million for its rights and property, providing Colombia would cede a strip of canal land for a U.S. payment of $10 million. When Colombia asked for an additional $15 million, the French company, encouraged by the U.S., promptly promoted a revolution, led by Philippe Jean Bunau-Varilla. He took over Panama while Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Navy to prevent Colombia from sending troops to Panama. Later, Roosevelt proudly declared: "I took Panama." On Nov. 3,1903, Panama proclaimed its independence. On Nov. 6,, the U.S. recognized Panama. On Nov. 18, a treaty between the U.S. and Panama was signed by Secretary of State Hay and Bunau-Varilla, giving the U.S. the right to build an Isthmian canal. Under the treaty we paid $10 million " to Panama, not for territory--as we paid for the pu rchase of Louisiana and Alaska' --but for treaty rights. We paid $10 million for a 10-mile-wide strip of land; plus $250,000 a year, increased to $430,000 in 1936 and $1.9 million in 1955. Help to). P. Morgan It was the most obvious of- U.S. imperialist adventures and recognized as such throughout the world. - In financial circles it was also known that one of Teddy Roosevelf s contributory motives in helping Panama secede from Colombia was to prevent the banking firm of J. P. Morgan Co. from losing $40 million. - "Had President Theodore Roosevelt negotiated his treaty with Colombia," an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor recently pointed out, "the · French Panama Canal Co. charter would have lapsed and its stock would have been worthless. Roosevelt, by choosing to get his canal through instant revolution rather than slower negotiation, saved the $40 million for J. P. Morgan continued . 12

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